We put the Royal Lancaster’s ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’ package to the test…
If you’re planning a trip to the capital and you drive an electric vehicle, there’s a new way to make your stay greener and more restful.
The iconic Royal Lancaster London, which overlooks Hyde Park and is a short walk from Marble Arch and Oxford Street, has launched a new package called ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’.
The overnight stay with breakfast includes free car parking, free EV charging and complimentary access to the hotel’s bicycles to explore the city.
What’s more, the Royal Lancaster London will plant one tree for each night of your stay through the Hotels for Trees initiative to compensate for any CO2 impact of your journey.
We tried out the package for ourselves, driving up from Somerset in Ford’s flagship electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E GT.
Not only did we arrive in style, but we avoided paying the £15 per day London Congestion Charge because the zero emissions Mach-E is exempt.
After a greeting from the smart doorman (complete with bowler hat), we were ushered up to the towering 5-star hotel’s secure, private car park. There we connected the car to one of the free chargers available.
The 411 guest rooms and suites at Royal Lancaster London offer classic style and spectacular panoramic views of Hyde Park and the City skyline, making it the perfect place to relax – and recharge your batteries too.
Since opening its doors in 1967, the Royal Lancaster remained mostly unchanged until 2015, when the prestigious family-run property underwent a two-year, head-to-toe, £83 million renovation.
It reopened in 2017 and everything from the modern open-plan lobby area to the redesigned, redecorated rooms and suites have been finished to a high standard.
We stayed in a Park Suite, on the 14th floor, which included a spacious living area with sumptuous velvet sofas, a lavish marble bathroom with twin sinks, shower and bathtub, plus a separate bedroom with king-size bed.
Despite the luxury, it was the 180-degree vista of London’s famous skyline that was the biggest treat – especially a night.
Frankly, it was hard to fault our stay – from the superb service levels via the friendly staff, the attention to detail and overall cleanliness, to the excellent breakfast quality and choice.
After checkout the following morning we returned to our car with zero range anxiety for the journey ahead because the Mustang Mach-E GT was fully charged.
Not that range is a huge issue when the battery pack of the Mach-E GT has been topped up.
Like most EVs, it may fall short of its claimed range (up to 304 miles), but 250 miles upwards is more than enough for most getaways. If you do have to stop off, a rapid 150kW public charger can deliver around 73 miles in just 10 minutes.
We took a more scenic route home, turning off the A303 before Stonehenge and heading over Salisbury Plain – the perfect place to let a thoroughbred like the Mach-E GT stretch its legs.
Blisteringly fast in a straight line (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds), it’s also a refined cruiser and delivers an engaging ride.
Not quite as dynamic to drive as its looks suggest, the Mach-E GT has a couple of party pieces. First, it’s fitted with a noise generator which simulates a combustion engine. Second, more spirited drivers will enjoy unleashing the GT’s more playful side, because the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system allows you to kick out the tail, should you so wish.
The entry-level Mustang Mach-E is priced from £50,830. However, a GT will set you back £74,540. For that, you get a second 240bhp electric motor installed up front. Combined, the two motors deliver a whopping 480bhp of power and an equally beefy 860Nm of torque.
With room for five, plus a decent 402-litre boot capacity and space under the bonnet for cables, the Mach-E GT is one of the performance EVs on the market.
Did you know? Key scenes of the classic British crime caper, The Italian Job, were filmed at the Royal Lancaster in 1968 – not long after the hotel opened. Also, The Beatles held their Yellow Submarine film premiere after-party at the venue in the same year.
Get the lowdown on the Royal Lancaster London hotel’s Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge package.